Musings from the Front Row


I work out religiously, but I am not a fitness class junkie. I do take cycling classes, and about once a week or so, I add in a high intensity metabolic conditioning class. The rest of the time, I work out on my own. I am not overly social at the gym, and I am far from an exhibitionist.

In classes, I tend to find a spot in the back, often near the door in case I decide to make an early exit ( which I never actually do!) I don’t coordinate my gym clothes, create elaborate hairdo’s, nor do I yell “whoo” during the difficult times. I go to sweat, I work hard, and I tend to blend into the group.

Until yesterday. I took  a class with a favorite instructor I hadn’t seen in awhile, and he talked me into a spot right next to him in the front row. He would demo an exercise, and then move around the room, timing the intervals, tweaking and motivating the group, Once we was off, the focus was on me, and the others situated front and center. CRINGE! I cautiously took my place, feeling the pressure of everyone being able to see me. The view from up there is decidedly different, and in the end I learned a few things.

1. I was extremely conscious of my form. Although I generally try to put form first, it’s easy to get a little sloppy, and not lunge or squat as deeply, or straighten your arms fully on overhead presses when you get tired. With the knowledge that 40+ people were standing behind me watching my every move, I perfected my form on each and every rep.

2. There is no slacking in the front row. During the series of one minute all out intervals, it’s easy to get tired and skip a few beats. Knowing that everyone would know if I stopped, forced me to keep going, even when the urge to back off was overwhelming. Further note to self: Some of that fatigue is all in your head. Push past it!

3. When you make faces, roll your eyes, or mutter during the hard parts, the instructor totally knows. BUSTED!

Today, I assumed my normal position in the back near the door, but my inner mantra became ” work like you’re in the front row and everyone is watching!”

My experience did not make me want to live life in the proverbial  spotlight, but it did make me more aware of my actions.

While the old adage ” dance as if nobody is watching” is a good one, in this case, the moral of the story is: “work like everyone is watching!”

Where do you like to workout in your fitness classes?Are you a front row type, or a back of the packer,like me? Let us know in the comments!

photo: Of someone that isn’t me: Glasshouse Images

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